Boy Scout finds and returns actor Chris Hemsworth’s wallet

Scouts help anyone in need — even superheroes.

Illinois Eagle Scout Tristin Budzyn-Barker found a lost wallet while on a recent trip to California. Inside, he learned the owner’s not-so-secret identity: actor Chris Hemsworth.

“Mom, do you know who this is?” Tristin remembers saying. “We found Thor’s wallet.”

Tristin did some investigating, found the actor’s address and sent a letter telling him about his find. To Hemsworth’s surprise, the wallet was returned with all the cash still inside.

This good turn got the attention of another famous person: Ellen DeGeneres.

“Obviously, you could’ve kept it,” DeGeneres told Tristin during Monday’s show. “There was money in there, right?”

As a reward, Hemsworth gave Tristin all the money that had been inside the wallet — plus a little extra. And then he gave the Eagle Scout a gift money can’t buy.

He presented Tristin with a framed letter he had written to congratulate him on his earning the Eagle Scout award.

Progress toward Eagle

Tristin, a member of Troop 141 of the Blackhawk Area Council, earned Eagle in November 2015. He discussed his Eagle Scout service project with DeGeneres on her show.

“What’s really cool, to earn the Eagle Scout badge … you were building shelters for horses,” she said. She showed photos of the finished project.

As a final surprise, DeGeneres gave Tristin his own wallet and $10,000 in cash from Shutterfly.

All that from one good turn.

“You’re an amazing young man,” DeGeneres said. “Thank you for being such an honest guy.”

Watch the video from The Ellen DeGeneres Show here.

Thanks to Jillian Infusino and Ann P. for the story tip. 

Correction: The original version of this story said Tristin is a Life Scout. He has earned the Eagle Scout award. 


  1. As the mother of two grown Eagle Scouts, I love reading things like this! I worked with Boy Scouts in several capacities from assisting with Tiger Cubs on up to “pending” Eagles who needed a little guidance. I was always so proud of the boys I worked with …. and I’m extremely proud of my two sons who still live by the values they practiced in BSA …. and now I have two young grandsons … a Cub Scout and one who just crossed over to Boy Scouts. They are also fine young men already! It is always a pleasure to hear of a Boy Scout who lives up to his potential and makes God, his family and his community proud of his actions!

  2. It’s refreshing and encouraging to see positive press about the program we all love. Good job young man! Well done.

  3. My guess is that Tristin never once considered keeping the wallet. Well done, young man. And congratulations on your (soon to be) Eagle award. You will be a most welcome member of the club!

  4. A Scout is, among many other things, honest and trustworthy. If Tristan had reacted in any other way to his “find” I would have been extremely surprised. Tristan, thank you for helping to show the world what it means to be a Scout!

  5. Congratulations Tristin, you make us all proud to be Scouts. Keep on the Eagle Trail, and best wishes as you give leadership to others.

  6. Tristan- You have made us all proud. An Eagle Scout’s behavior reflects on all Eagles and your values have reflected well on all of Scouting. Congratulations and welcome to the club!

  7. As the father of a Eagle Scout and 2 more up coming scouts 1 star scout and 1 who just crossed over I am very proud to see this young man live by the values that the BSA program teaches. Congratulations from the Blue Ridge Mountains Council. Darrell Lineberry

  8. Congratulation to Tristan. But, I am not at all surprised that he returned the wallet completely intact. That is what scouts do. A Scout is trustworthy and helpful and does a good turn daily. He obviously lives by the words of the Scout Law and Slogan. He is an excellent representative of the Scouting program!

  9. It is also helpful to know that a Scout does acts such as this with no expectation of reward and, very often, refuses one. Great story. As a Scout leader I am going to share this story with my own scouts tonight.

  10. You certainly did your “good turn”. Keep up the good work and being a great example for everyone else to follow, both scouts and non-scouts.

  11. Congratulations from Troop 39 Pathway to Adventure Council, Chicago! You make us all proud.

    As important are the times we return wallets to regular people, without a thought.

    A scout is trustworthy, honest…

  12. Tristan – You embody everything that we as leaders hope to teach a young Tiger Cub to an Eagle Scout! Not for a second did this young man think he would “keep the wallet” that is not part of his makeup, really ANY Eagle Scouts makeup. Not one Scout Law is important as the next, they are all important and you resemble that. Thank you for showing that Scouting Traditions are still being taught and that you showed this to all those that saw the show.

    Troop 232 from Charlotte NC is proud of your actions!

  13. I have 2Eagle sons. One has the Beaver now and 3 scout sons, one of whom just made Eagle. Sooo we now have one Eagle grandson, soon to be joined by his Life scout brother at Eagle. Our Star third Grandson is chomping at the bit. A scout family.

Join the conversation